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Becoming a guest of the state can take a few seconds

THERE are some people in this country who try all their level best to get a curse from none other than yours truly.

You see when the system of a country becomes rotten, then most of the people also become rotten, and it becomes scary when you realise that nowadays being the proud owner of a healthy beer belly and a smooth bald head does not command respect from the young ones anymore.

I remember back then when I was growing up, we had deep respect for our elders, and anyone who was slightly older than us would earn a thousand ‘shkamoo’ every day.

But nowadays you find a young person who believes that simply because he is educated he has all the rights of behaving the way he feels, and these are the boys who instead of giving you a shkamoo will simply tell you ‘wats up,’.

Believe me, there is no place where you can witness moral decay like a bar or a pub, because at such places only your money will earn you respect, and not your shiny bald head.

Recently I found out the hard way that some of the boys who belong to a certain tough fellow called Simon Siro rank poorly when it comes to respect, and some of them take their slogan ‘Kutii sheria bila shuruti’ very seriously.

That day mzee Zakayo went to the extreme and invited a group of dancers from Buza called ‘Sindano ya Moto’, which literally means a hot needle, and the way those girls were dancing, it was obvious that if mama Boyi had seen them, then her greasy frying pan would have been very busy before frog marching me back home.

That day I was with a fellow called Dulla Kibatari, who always has a very hungry and famished look, and who can sell anything to you, including a second hand kidney.

The problem is that by the time the show kicked off, it was approaching midnight, and looking at the ever increasing crowd of revelers, it was obvious that no one was ready to call it a day any time soon.

A fellow called Oscar the Hawker came in, and I have all the reason to believe that the man had either raided a bank or had conned a fool somewhere of a huge amount of money, because the man kept the drinks coming.

“You know me baba Boyi, I am a man who is always loaded, and to me the problem is not how to get money, the problem is how to use the money, so just swallow away, the night is still young!” he shouted above the loud music.

I saw Dulla eyeing him with a hungry look, and I was sure if he got a clean opportunity, he will jump the guy anytime and make away with the loot.

I was shouting to Rhoda, a new pretty barmaid to come and open my beer for me when suddenly the whole place went quiet, and for a moment I thought that maybe someone had stepped on one of the electric cables.

Suddenly I heard a very gruff voice at the entrance, and it was not ordering for beer, it was commanding everyone to be still because according to him, tulikua chini ya ulinzi.

At the corner of my eye I saw Dulla sliding under his chair and I quickly followed suit, but because of my healthy beer belly half the bottles and glasses followed me.

 I succeeded in fitting my massive body under the table as rivulets of sweat flowed from my bald head, but before I could make myself comfortable, very rough hands practically lifted me to my feet.

“Mzee unaenda wapi? You want me to add resisting arrest to your charges? In fact, I think you are one of those guys who sell drugs, mzee utatuonyesha wauza sembe wenzio leo!”

I looked outside and I saw a Land Rover Defender and a dark lorry outside, and I knew that if mzee Zakayo did not play his cards right, then that was going to be our mode of transportation very soon.

Before I could lie to the boys in khaki uniform that I was just heading home and decided to stop for a few minutes to buy soda for my wife, the same rough hands took hold of my belt from behind and led me outside, and I can assure you that only my toes touched the ground.

As I was unceremoniously thrown inside the back of the lorry, I saw mzee Zakayo trying to negotiate with the police, and I believe there was some misunderstanding, because the lorry which was full by then came into life and left.

They took us to the nearest police post in Manzese, and one of the police men, a young man who barely looked 18 commanded us to step down and file into the building in a single line.

I was still objecting to the rough treatment when we were told to remove our shoes and belts and step into a dark room which happened to be the cell.

I flatly refused to remove my shoes, and one of the police men, this one looking as if he was a close relative to the late Remmy Ongala, shoved me inside.

It was dark inside, and I stepped on a few toes before I could find the wall, and in the dark a very lazy voice warned me that if I was not seated in the next 10 seconds I would be dispatched to my creator without any fuss.

As I was trying to find a spot where I could sit before I became past tense, I felt hands making their way into my trouser pockets, and I lashed out violently, and the short cry of pain told me that I had hit my target.

When my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness, I found myself sitting between Dulla and Oscar the Hawker, and my instinct told me that it was Dulla who wanted to empty my pockets.

My suspicions were confirmed a few minutes later when he leaned towards me and whispered “sorry boss, I thought it was Oscar!”

The place was reeking of urine and dirty socks, and in one corner I saw a man who looked as if his hobby was dispatching stubborn people to their maker.

I recognised him as the fellow who had at one time attempted to steal one of my goats but I had caught him and brought him to the same police station.

He saw me and his mouth formed into an evil grin, and I knew he had very sinister plans for me. Fortunately, Mzee Zakayo pulled some strings and we were out a few minutes later.

We went back to Zakayo’s, and it was hard to believe that there had been a nasty break, because the sindano girls were still doing their thing, and the fun would have continued if I had not noticed mama Boyi standing right behind me holding something which resembled a frying pan!

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Mwandishi: ANTHONY TAMBWE

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